A HOMELESS couple who lost all their possessions when their tent was set on fire at the weekend have thanked the people of Wokingham for coming to their aid.
Natalie Fraser and Stuart Callum were hoping to move into a bed and breakfast after sleeping rough for seven months.
But all their possessions including medical records and identification documents were lost in the blaze in Cantley Park.
Now they are back on the streets as temperatures plunge, sleeping in freezing weather with only the clothes they are wearing to keep them warm.
And Natalie, 33, who suffered a miscarriage last year, said she and partner Stuart were “devastated” by the fire.
“After all these months, we thought we were about to move forward but now we have been knocked right back.”
Speaking through tears, Natalie described how the couple arrived in Wokingham seven months ago after leaving Reading.
They initially slept rough outside the HSBC Bank in Broad Street but have spent the past three months living in their tent.
Last Friday, they went into town in the morning and returned later to discover the tent and their possessions were just a charred mess.
“We didn’t own much but everything we had was destroyed,” she added.
“Whoever did it also sliced through a second tent. The fire destroyed our clothes and things like photos. We haven’t had any bother living in the park. People even bought food for us and if we weren’t there, they’d leave it by the tent.
” I would like to meet the person who set fire to our tent and ask why they did it. Did they think it would be funny? They have taken away all that we owned.”
The couple are once more sleeping in a doorway of the HSBC bank.
“A policeman gave us blankets and people have helped us with food,” added Natalie.
“I am bipolar. I need to get a diagnosis from a GP but I can’t register with one unless I have an address.
“All my medical records were lost in the fire. If I get a GP’s letter, we can move into bed and breakfast. At the moment, we are back on the streets.”
Stuart, 39, is a roofer and says he is desperate to get a job.
“Because I don’t have an address, I can’t apply for work,” he said.
Read the full story in this week’s Wokingham Paper.